Editorials - March 24, 2022
As if the supply chain disruptions and food inflation costs caused by a global pandemic, natural disasters and a Russia-Ukraine war weren’t bad enough, now a work stoppage at Canadian Pacific Railway threatens to halt transportation of goods across the country.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Farmers rely on the rail system to move 75 per cent of all fertilizer. That fertilizer is crucial to the planting season, and this season’s North American crops are going to be crucial to world food security with Ukraine’s spring planting under threat and Russian and Belarussian fertilizers sanctioned.
With so much of our economy under threat from external forces, it seems the last thing we need is a threat from within. Many industry and farming associations, along with provincial leaders, have called on Ottawa to declare the railway an essential service and to enact back-to-work legislation.
While a negotiated settlement is always preferred, the two sides couldn’t even agree on whether this stoppage was a strike initiated by the union or a lockout by the company. Each issued press releases on the weekend blaming the other. Since the two parties have been without a contract for over six months and the sides unable to agree on an arbitration process, it seems that the federal government will be left with no choice but to intervene. – DS
It is happening again
As governments here at home and around the world forecast (and hope for) a more normal year than we’ve had with the past two, it can be scary for some, but there is also a distinct optimism in the air as a long Huron County winter slowly turns to spring.
In the past month or so, The Citizen has carried stories about many organizations planning for in-person events, augmented from their previous form or not. There has been the Blyth Festival season, the Huron County Plowing Match, the reunion of the Huron Pioneer Thresher and Hobby Association, the Rutabaga Festival, the Brussels Fall Fair and the Brussels 150th Homecoming celebration, while many others are working their way towards welcoming people back in one way or another.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a long haul for many and, unless you’re one of the few who simply didn’t change their lives whatsoever as a result of the pandemic, you have suffered in one way or another. Hearing the news that events you know and love are planning a comeback has to bring a smile to the faces of many.
Governments and public health agencies will continue to monitor things (at least many of us hope they will) and, after two years, we all have the knowledge and the tools to keep ourselves and those around us as safe as possible. The efficacy of vaccines have turned infections for many into mild or asymptomatic brushes with the virus, so it seems the time has come to return to what has been casually called the new normal, albeit cautiously.
Be safe, conscientious and caring, but also allow yourself to be excited about the possibility of seeing friends again, reconnecting with your community and doing the things you love. – SL
Help, not views and clicks
While Kanye West may seem far removed from the fields and streets of Huron County, the fact that anyone with internet access has a chance to hear about him on a weekly, if not daily, basis highlights a problem that modern society has: not turning away from the train wreck, whether it be literal or metaphorical.
If you’re interested in his kind of music, West is an incredibly talented individual. If his music isn’t your cup of tea, you’re likely still aware of the fact that he was famous long before he married into the Kardashian family, whose members seem to be famous for being famous.
West is famous now for another reason: his zany antics. However, when you take a step back you might realize that his antics are likely an expression of his self-professed mental health issues.
It’s a problem that people are hanging on West’s every Tweet, Instagram post and recorded video because those viewers are all fueling the idea that his mental health problems aren’t problems at all, but some kind of gift that allows him to entertain the world. West isn’t the first celebrity to become famous not despite battling mental illness, but because of it, in a way. Robin Williams often went off his medication to produce some of his most memorable performances, just as one example in recent years.
However, as a culture, we need to do a better job of not enabling these people by tuning in, and instead encouraging them to get the help they so clearly need. We’re all responsible for helping our neighbours, be they next door or a world away, and watching them spiral out of control without lending a hand is tantamount to setting them on that spiral in the first place. – JDS